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February 23, 1998

UCSC hosts northern California Ocean Sciences Bowl on March 1

By Jennifer McNulty

High school students from central and northern California will converge on UCSC on Sunday, March 1, for the northern California regional Ocean Sciences Bowl (see Web site). The event, which is free and open to the public, brings eight teams of students together to test their knowledge of the ocean as they field queries on the biology, chemistry, geology, physics, history, and economics of the ocean and ocean-related current events. The competition will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; all events will take place in the Earth and Marine Sciences Building.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on February 7. Because of severe storms that weekend, it was postponed.

The winning team of the regional competition will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in April to compete in the first National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The national champions will head to Lisbon, Portugal, to observe the International Year of the Ocean at Expo '98.

"This event highlights the importance of the marine sciences, and it gives UCSC an opportunity to showcase our role as a leading marine research institution," said Dorris Welch, director of public education at UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory, which is hosting the science bowl and a second day of activities for the students. "We want to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage the public to become involved with our programs."

The northern California competition is sponsored by the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) in partnership with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA). The UCSC Admissions Office is cosponsoring the event, which is being hosted by the public education program at Long Marine Lab. An awards ceremony will be held at the end of the day.

Each participating school (see list below) is sending a team of four students and one alternate to the competition. The teams will tackle multiple-choice and short-answer questions developed by a national panel of marine educators, including Welch. The panel will draw their questions from the scientific and technical disciplines used in studying the oceans, such as physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and atmospheric science. Other questions will concern the role of the oceans in economics, history, and culture.

Schools had the option of incorporating training for the bowl into their regular science curricula or establishing special after-school groups for their teams. The ultimate goal is to increase public visibility and understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research.

Prior to the competition, on Saturday, February 28, the high school experts will take a guided tour of the campus led by current science undergraduates. At the end of the day, the high school students will be offered a behind-the-scenes tour of Long Marine Lab.

UCSC is one of 16 sites where regional competitions are being held, including West Coast sites such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Event officials, including judges and scorekeepers, are faculty, researchers, marine managers, and docents from several Monterey Bay institutions, including UC Santa Cruz, Moss Landing Marine Labs, the U.S. Geological Survey, California State Parks, and Long Marine Lab.

Schools that will be represented in the Northern California Ocean Sciences Bowl:

Note: A full schedule of the concurrent sessions will be posted in the second-floor foyer of the Earth and Marine Sciences Building.

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